Free Updates

Let us tell you when new posts are added!

Email:

Navigation

Categories
October, 2014 (3)
September, 2014 (5)
August, 2014 (4)
July, 2014 (4)
June, 2014 (5)
May, 2014 (4)
April, 2014 (4)
March, 2014 (5)
February, 2014 (4)
January, 2014 (4)
December, 2013 (5)
November, 2013 (4)
October, 2013 (4)
September, 2013 (5)
August, 2013 (4)
July, 2013 (4)
June, 2013 (5)
May, 2013 (4)
April, 2013 (5)
March, 2013 (4)
February, 2013 (4)
January, 2013 (4)
December, 2012 (5)
November, 2012 (4)
October, 2012 (5)
September, 2012 (4)
August, 2012 (5)
July, 2012 (5)
June, 2012 (4)
May, 2012 (4)
April, 2012 (5)
March, 2012 (4)
February, 2012 (4)
January, 2012 (5)
December, 2011 (5)
November, 2011 (4)
October, 2011 (5)
September, 2011 (4)
August, 2011 (5)
July, 2011 (5)
June, 2011 (6)
May, 2011 (7)
April, 2011 (4)
March, 2011 (5)
February, 2011 (3)
January, 2011 (5)
December, 2010 (4)
November, 2010 (5)
October, 2010 (4)
September, 2010 (4)
August, 2010 (5)
July, 2010 (4)
June, 2010 (5)
May, 2010 (4)
April, 2010 (4)
March, 2010 (5)
February, 2010 (4)
January, 2010 (4)
December, 2009 (3)
November, 2009 (5)
October, 2009 (4)
September, 2009 (4)
August, 2009 (5)
July, 2009 (4)
June, 2009 (5)
May, 2009 (4)
April, 2009 (5)
March, 2009 (6)
February, 2009 (5)
January, 2009 (5)
December, 2008 (4)
November, 2008 (4)
October, 2008 (6)
September, 2008 (5)
August, 2008 (5)
July, 2008 (4)
June, 2008 (6)
May, 2008 (5)
April, 2008 (5)
March, 2008 (4)
February, 2008 (4)
January, 2008 (5)
December, 2007 (4)
November, 2007 (4)
October, 2007 (6)
September, 2007 (4)
August, 2007 (4)
July, 2007 (5)
June, 2007 (4)
May, 2007 (3)
April, 2007 (2)
March, 2007 (1)

Search

Archives

<October 2014>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2829301234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930311
2345678

by Maureen A. Taylor

More Links










# Monday, March 28, 2011
Uniforms in the Family
Posted by Maureen

It's not too late to enter your ancestral bad hair photos in my blog contest. See details in last week's post. I can't wait until you see what folks sent in! 

In the meantime, it's time for another photo mystery. This one is a 20th century challenge.

Nancy Yates sent in a few pictures of her father, taken when he was about 15 years old, between 1930 to 1932. In the first one, he's standing alone wearing a uniform with plain sleeves.

yates1.jpg

In the second he's wearing a different uniform with hash marks on the sleeve indicating his rank of corporal. He's standing with his sister.
Yates2.jpg

yates3.jpg

The mystery is the uniform. It doesn't look like a Boy Scout uniform. It's too bad I can't read the pin on his hat or the badge on his other sleeve. 

Nancy knows her Dad once served in the Civilian Conservation Corp as an adult. Men had to be at least 17 years old to serve in the CCC.

So what uniform is it? I'm not sure. There were several groups for teens in the 1930s. The 4-H Club, the Future Farmers of America and the Junior Birdmen of America are a few prominent groups, but this uniform doesn't represent any of those organizations. A great book on the period is William H. Young and Nancy K. Young's The 1930s (Greenwood Press, $25.00).

One lead is a group sponsored by the American Legion. They formed the Air Cadets in 1933, to train young men as pilots in case of war.

Do you have any ideas? I'm still looking.


1930s photos | children | unusual clothing
Monday, March 28, 2011 7:12:50 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [12]
# Monday, March 21, 2011
Hair in the Family: A Contest
Posted by Maureen

At a recent lecture, an attendee told me about an ancestral photo that scared him as a child. The woman had a curl that stood up straight on the top of her head. (He's promised to send me a scan, and as soon as I have it you'll see it here. Can't wait!)

His comments made me think about hairstyles in the family. On page 83 of Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900 there is a picture of a woman wearing a hair piece. It's not unusual for a 19th century woman to add false hair to create a fashionable hairdo, and in this photo I doubt it's real hair. Women could buy expensive human hairpieces or fake ones made from horsehair or even yak hair.
ftmphoto48.jpg

Her natural hair is very fine and curly, and the loops on her head are an entirely different texture. You can also see long hair trailing down behind her head.

Inspired by the photo that scared a child, I've decided it's time for a contest. Send me photos of the most outrageous hairstyles worn by ancestors. You can send in 20th century photos of yourself, but not of living family members. You can email them to me at mtaylor@taylorandstrong.com. I'll feature as many as I can in this space and readers can vote for their favorite in the comment section.


hairstyles | unusual photos
Monday, March 21, 2011 1:19:50 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, March 14, 2011
Mom, Dad and Baby
Posted by Maureen

Marla Hathhorn sent in this picture with a simple question. On the back someone wrote, "Ann Hicks." Is Ann Hicks the baby or the mother?
 
Ann Hicks2.jpg

Marla knows that her ancestor Anna Foley Hicks was born in Canada in 1844 and died in Oklahoma in 1914. 

A lot of people ask me, "What do I look at first in a photo?" The answer depends on the image. In this case, I read Marla's e-mail and quickly glanced at the photographer's imprint at the bottom of the card to see where the picture was taken. Then I examined their clothing.

The woman's dress is from the circa 1880 period. The bodice extends over the hips, extra fabric drapes over her upper legs and there are two layers of pleats. Her choice of jewelry is also typical for the time -- a thick chain with a charm was very popular. In the early 1880s, women wore their hair pulled back with short bangs. This young mother is very stylish in an understated way. Dad's clothing agrees with this time frame. 

The baby is very cute in it's long dress, thick tights and buttoned boots.  Around it's neck is a lovely bib.

Could the mother be Anna? In 1880 she'd be 36 years of age, a likely fit. 

T.R. Colpitts took this photo. The Rock Lake Herald of 1881 featured a short bit of news about him. It stated that he was taking a trip into southern Manitoba to take scenic views for resale. It appears from this photograph that he also found employment with the Hudsons Bay Parlors, a photographic establishment possibly connected with the Hudson Bay Company. I'm looking for that link.


1880s photos | men | women
Monday, March 14, 2011 2:08:38 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [4]
# Monday, March 07, 2011
Around the World with Family
Posted by Maureen

Reader Carol Norwood is a dedicated genealogist searching for more details of her mother's life in far off Indonesia.

Her mother Cita Dromer lived in Sumatra from 1927 to 1940. About a month ago, she sent scan of her mother's Poezie book (a type of scrapbook for poetry and other keepsakes) to The Indo Project. According to the group's website, "The Indo Project is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and celebration of Indo culture and history through education and raising public awareness." They liked her mother's Poezie book so much they featured it in their newsletter. The album documents a fascinating period in her mother's life.

There are, of course, a couple of mystery photos. Norwood knows who's depicted in them, but she's trying to track down a living person. poezie.jpg
Since she's possibly still living, I'm not going to mention her name. When Carol's mother immigrated to the United States on the ship Poleau Tello, this South African girl was on board. The two became friends and wrote in each others album.

Carol has tracked down the girl's family and is hoping for a reunion. My fingers are crossed too. I'll keep you posted.


1940s photos | Photos from abroad
Monday, March 07, 2011 3:14:54 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011
Posted by Maureen

I'm posting a couple of days later than usual this week because I was in London for Who Do You Think You Are? Live. (Plus, I had a little downtime with my English friends.)

ftm booth.jpg
Maureen solves photo mysteries at WDYTYA? Live.

A series of last minute serendipitous things happened this year. I was able to provide photo consultations as a partnership with a British website What's That Picture? I met that site's creator, James Morley, three years ago at WDYTYA? Live. We've teamed up to take the site to the next step with an interactive timeline of photos supplied by users of the site and powered by Flickr. James is the technical genius behind it. Take a look at the timeline here. It's still in it's infancy, but we have big plans for it. You can add your dated family photos to it.

This press release appeared on the site and in the WDYTYA? Live newsletter just before I left for London. As soon as the show opened Saturday morning, the line (or queue, as the British call it) started forming. I've lost count of how many photos I actually looked it. Seems like hundreds, and it probably was. It was a fascinating experience to look at family photos from across the Atlantic. 

I love looking at pictures from all over the world.! There are subtle differences in clothing, especially men's work attire. The historical context of the images also has to be considered. English history has different milestones. I saw a lot of World War I images and some from the Boer War. One of the military pavilions would send folks to me to assign a photographic time frame to a picture, so they could go back to the military booth to find more information. We were sending people back and forth for the whole show!

I also managed to squeeze in a quick visit to the National Archives in England to meet with their photo specialist. Wish I could spend weeks looking at what they've got there! I was looking for something special, so I just might have to build another visit into my itinerary for next year.


Photos from abroad | Photo-sharing sites
Wednesday, March 02, 2011 2:45:56 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [1]